Peru: Cajamarca dialogue nears collapse

The president of Peru’s Cajamarca region, Gregorio Santos, said Aug. 9 that he sees no purpose in continuing talks with two Roman Catholic priests trying to mediate a peaceful solution to the dispute over the proposed Conga gold-mining project. “The facilitators have already completed their tasks,” Santos said. “The facilitators aren’t going to make any decisions. The executive branch already knows the position of the people of Cajamarca.” The statement came the day after facilitators, Trujillo Archbishop Miguel Cabrejos and dissident priest Gaston Garatea (suspended from the ministry by the Archdiocese of Lima for his populist positions), met with Prime Minister Juan Jiménez and other members of President Ollanta Humala’s cabinet. The facilitators issued a statement calling on the central government to lift the state of emergency that was imposed on much of Cajamarca region in early July following an escalations of protests against the Conga project. (Dow Jones, Aug. 9; Andina, Aug. 8; CNA, July 24)

In his second cabinet shake-up since taking power last year, Humala, appointed Jiménez, the former justice minister, to the post of prime minister on July 23. He replaces the notorious hardliner Oscar Valdés, and the move was widely seen as Humala’s bid to appease the Cajamarca protesters. (ANSA, July 23)